In my Doylestown chiropractic practice, I regularly see golf injuries when the weather turns nice. Sometimes it’s back pain or rotator cuff pain. Sometimes it’s wrist pain.
It may come as a shock but golf is actually a pretty injury-ridden sport. Often, golf injuries happen because people aren’t properly warmed up or because they practice the same repetitive motions frequently.
And it’s not surprising when you think about it. Spending several hours hunched over is enough to give anyone lower back pain. Then, when you think about the repetitive motion of swinging the clubs through the air, the THWACK of connecting with the ball, and the twist of your spine, there are plenty of opportunities for injury.
According to the MayoClinic, golf injuries are typically caused by overuse — such as logging lots of tee time after spending a sedentary winter.
Another reason golf injuries occur is through misalignment, you probably know it’s important to bend from the waist and follow through on your swing but many golfers hunch their necks and shoulders and THEN swing. That’s a good way to injure yourself.
3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Golf Injuries:
Increase Your Flexibility
Make sure you take the time to warm up before you play a round of golf. Bend over and touch your toes and simply hang there. When you stand, you can put your hands on your waist and do a few gentle twists back and forth.
You can do a few runners stretches and rotate your shoulders forward and backward and circle your head a few times. Rotate your wrists. A common complaint is wrist pain, which can come from holding the club too tightly or simply the repetitive action. You may be aware that carpal tunnel syndrome stems from repetitive motion. You can make it a habit to rotate your wrists – on and off the course. Stretch your fingers too. These movements will help prevent carpal tunnel.
The more limber you are before you play, the better off you’ll be.
Work Up to Your First Full Round to Reduce Risk of Golf Injuries
This is especially true if you’ve been sedentary for the last several months. You’ve probably heard it before but if you’re out of condition, you can easily hurt yourself. You’ve probably heard of someone who pulled a muscle doing a simple task like getting the clubs out of the car or swinging the club. You can prevent such injuries by warming your body up first.
Practice at the driving range. Play 9 holes instead of 18. Do another type of exercise in between golf games — even walking will help. What you don’t want to do is go from sitting behind a desk all day for months and then hit the greens on the first nice day and overdo it.
Always Practice Good Form
You want to bend from your hips, not hunch your head, shoulders, and upper back. The latter is likely to cause strain in your neck and shoulders. Use a consistent swing rather than sinking all your power into your first point of impact Swinging too hard or fast stresses your joints.
When you maintain a flexible spine, that helps your golf game. One of the best ways to protect yourself from golf injuries is to practice yoga stretches regularly. Getting regular chiropractic care helps too.
I find that golfers often have their shoulders and hips out of alignment which puts stress on your joints and can cause pain in your lower back, rotator cuff and even your knees or wrists.
Chiropractic adjustments realign your shoulders and hips so you get pain relief. When muscles, tendons, and bones are out of alignment — even by a few centimeters– that can put a lot of pressure on your nerves and joints.
Don’t spend the summer sitting on the sidelines! Take precautions so that you can enjoy your golf game injury-free for many years to come.